View Full Version : Polapan 55
Hello all - I haven't touched my toyo view in like five years and I decided to break it out again and get back into large format photography. I have some polapan 55 film and my question is this - is the negative usable? And if so, how do you deal with it? After taking a photo it is covered with chemicals of course. Do you rinse it off? Let it dry? Can you print with it, scan it? Yes, I am confused. :) Thanks in advance!
The instructions of the film tell you what to do. In short, you soak the negative in a solution of sodium sulfite and then wash it. You have to expose the film a little more (EI 32 instead of 50 if memory serves) to get a good negative, though. (Of course this means that the print will be slightly too dense.)
You process (read clear) the negative in a solution of water with a bit of sodium sulfite ... 18% solution is what is recommended. You can use plain water and then redo it late with a bit of sodium sulfite. Many, myself included, also give it a second shot in water with a bit of photoflot or similar. Make sure there is no rsidue streaking before hangingthe neg to dry.
The emulsion is a bit fragile but it is a solid negative. It is generally assumed that it is Pan X. Sure behaves like it even if it is not. One caveat. If your film is not fresh or close to in date it will not work too well with any regularity.
BTW, my 'signature' image you see to the left is from a T55 netative.
I shoot a lot of 55 and have made a page on my blog dedicated to how I clean it, store, etc. If interested here is the link: http://cameraartist.com/blog/?page_id=1
If the film is not fresh, and the process pod has dried out, you can still use the negative by removing it in your darkroom and tray developing it in your favorite soup. Then you don't have to use the 18% sulfite, just treat it like any 4x5 film stock. I also think the film is Panatomic X, or something very similar. Paul
According to some historical references, Ansel Adams had a hand in creating the Type 55 P/N film as a consultant with Polaroid. He insisted that they use Pan X as the negative material because he liked it so much. This is the only Pan X sheet film left.
I have ten sheets of this left that are old and bad (spots on the prints/negs). I assume the film is fine if I process it in a drum. Any tips on processing the film in a Jobo Expert drum? Times, good developers, is the film to big, etc...?
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